This breakthrough was achieved thanks to CRISPR-based genetic editing technology. As tumors grow, they release DNA into the environment. Current methods only allow this DNA to be analyzed in the laboratory, making it difficult to detect and localize tumors quickly.
The researchers used the bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi, which lives in the large intestine, and modified them to be susceptible to mutations in the KRAS gene associated with various types of cancer.
In contact with mutant DNA, these bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, making their presence easier to detect.
Tests in mice showed that the modified bacteria successfully detected tumor DNA by forming green colonies on antibiotic dishes.
Scientists believe that this method can be adapted for use in humans and will help in diagnosing not only cancer but other diseases as well.
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